Employers are Ditching the College Degree Requirement: Here’s What it Means for Communications


Employers are ditching the college degree requirement. Here’s what it means for comms.



The trend signals a coming shift to the job market.

Isis Simpson-Mersha

The job market isn’t the same as it was before the world changed a few years ago. Beyond upending the job market and how people work, the pandemic also leveled the playing field for requirements for certain jobs.

Understanding the evolution of the job market

There are 10 million jobs available and nearly six million people are unemployed, according to recent data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Industry giants like Google, Bank of America, IBM, General Motors and Tesla are dropping the requirement for a bachelor’s degree for many middle-skill and even higher-skill roles, according to a recent study from Harvard Business Review and Emsi Burning Glass.

The study coins this trend “degree inflation reversal” and its findings suggests that such degree requirements may be around for quite a while, if not permanently.

When employers drop degrees from job postings, the study found, they tend to become more specific about the skills required. This includes spelling out the soft skills that are often assumed to come with a college education, such as writing, communication, and being detail-oriented.

Though the data from the study primarily focuses on larger companies and roles in tech, however, the trend is rippling outside those lines — and given its momentum, the trend is already starting to make a splash in comms-specific roles.

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